Violence against Women and Girls

Part of Contamination of Beef Products – in the House of Commons at 1:26 pm on 14th February 2013.

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Photo of Sarah Wollaston Sarah Wollaston Conservative, Totnes 1:26 pm, 14th February 2013

That is an important point, but before I come to it, I would like to pay tribute to the 27 remarkable, talented and skilled volunteer women who work for Devon Rape Crisis in my area.

I will address my hon. Friend’s point. What do I mean by “normalisation”? Well, for example, 80% of 15 to 17-year-old boys are now regularly accessing hardcore pornography. To my mind, that constitutes normalisation, as does the issue of sexting, which my hon. Friend Claire Perry mentioned, and the extent to which it goes unchallenged. One might say that this is a milder example, but when I go into the Tea Rooms in the House of Commons and see colleagues reading newspapers with images that objectify women, I find that offensive. I find it a normalisation that across the country young girls are sitting in households where they see such sexualisation of women as a normal portrayal of women. People may find me prudish, but I assure hon. Members that there is nothing that makes me blush. These are not blushes, but anger. That is what I would term as normalisation, and I hope I have answered the question from my hon. Friend Bob Stewart.